I had an accident on Saturday afternoon the has left me still slightly surprised that it happened, yes there was a large spoonful of stupidity in there and it could have happened to anyone, but it happened to me. I’m a life long smoker and I have used a zippo lighter throughout the majority of those years, so I know all to well how to fill and use one safely. So the fact that I filled it and then nearly set the house on fire, still leaves me somewhat stunned at my stupidity. Experience has taught me that you don’t use a freshly filled zippo for about 5 minutes after you fill it, but when I filled my lighter on this occasion I lit it even before I had put the petrol canister away. The second I released the spark my lighter and my hand were on fire, well the petrol that was on the outsides and it’s vapor ignited. Instinct made me drop the lighter, on the odd occasion I have ever dropped a zippo it has always gone out, this time it was on the carpet flames all over all it’s surfaces. I had to shuffle it across the carpet, so it wasn’t sat long enough to light the fibers, eventually I managed to put it out, by shoving it to the edge of the mat and shut the lid. It was still really hot and shoving it around by my finger tips until it cooled was my only option, it would have damaged the carpet if it had sat still for more than a second.
The result of this stupid accident is firstly no damage to the carpet or to me either other than a couple of burned fingertips, less burned than they would have been if I had been cooking. The only real damage and the reason that I am a writing about it, is to my ego and self belief, we all do stupid things, age is no barrier to stupidity. Often when we are doing things that feel like second nature, is exactly the time that we do things without any thought at all, I was as likely to do this 20 yrs ago as I was to this weekend and I know totally that my MS, bad memory, Fibro or anything else that is wrong with me had nothing to do with it either, but what it did was set me off on a train of thought. I realised within seconds that if Adam had seen it he would now be convinced that a lighter was a dangerous thing for me to have, he would right away have made a connection in his mind between a simple thoughtless moment, which he could have just of easily had, meant my health had been at the root of it, and he probably wouldn’t be the only one to go off on that train of thought. I am suddenly aware that millions of perfectly able people, will simply because they are aging or have a condition like mine, will have had changes put upon them by well meaning family, when there is no reason for it at all. I can see suddenly how decisions are made for us, not because we can’t make them ourselves, but because those around us feel they have the right and the responsibility to think for us.
Suddenly I can see millions of heads around the world nodding in agreement, people who have well meaning friends and family who turn up with solutions to problems that exist nowhere other than in their minds. Those gadgets that no one on this planet requires, to open thing, or reach for things, the specially designed for the less able bodied gizmos, that clutter the homes of the elderly and disabled world wide, never asked for and never used, but on display to keep their relatives happy. All to clearly as well I could also see just how it starts as well, be it the sort of silly happen to anyone accident I had on Saturday or, well or the situation I allowed to happen a couple of weeks ago. Adam came home with a bottle of multivitamin tablets, he felt that I needed them. I now can’t believe what I did, I made the first mistake that I guess millions of others have made before me, I accepted the tablets and took them. What I should have done was thank him for his concern and reassured him that if I felt I needed them I would take them. By accepting his view and accepting that he bought them without talking to me first and his assumption that bringing them home meant I would play along, were all confirmed as I did what he wanted. I have been taking the tablets for a couple of weeks without any change at all. Now I know if he had seen me light and drop that lighter, he would by now have searched on line and found a flame-less lighter, don’t bother, I won’t use it!
I don’t know why it is that people seem to think it is acceptable to tell others what to do or how to do what they have done all their lives without anyone ever helping them. I know it is done out of care and concern, but I along with most like me have a brain that although often muddled and often confused, still works. Accidents happen to me as they do to you, not everything that happens in my life has to do with MS, many are simply down to being the stupid creatures that humans are. Like many things in life, it is only when you are in the position yourself, that you suddenly see it for what it really is. I will probably have hundreds of stupid accidents in the next few years, some will be one offs, others will repeat themselves, but not all will require radical actions. I may have MS but probably in this situation the first thing that needs to be remembered is I am human.